I took mom to one of my cousins’ 50th wedding anniversary party today. We had to travel about an hour and a half to get there. As we were leaving home she made a comment about how long it had been since she’d been for a ride. I realized that she really is at our mercy when it comes to going anywhere. We talked about how much dad loved to travel and she just went because he loved it. She told me stories of their three cross country trips and some of the tribulations they experienced. I’ve heard them before but today it was about the telling, not the hearing.
The whole ride she was mentioning things she remembered and naming towns as we went through them. She told me about places that had changed or weren’t there any more. At one point she pointed up a road and said “there was a school that ____ used to teach at.” After some thought I realized that must have been in the sixties. The sixties.
All of this made me ponder, since I’m aging what will my memory rides be like? I’m more like dad and I love to travel. It’s a different generation so a woman traveling is much more acceptable so I get to go places she would never have dreamed of going even if she did like to travel. If I get old enough to have someone make me stop driving, will I still want to go places? Will I have a list of towns and cities to remember? Will I have someone to tell and retell my adventures to?
Sometimes it’s frustrating being patient with mom. She doesn’t see well and there are a lot of things she just doesn’t understand. She’ll ask what seem like silly questions, “why does that car in front of us keep speeding up and slowing down?” (the speed limit changes frequently on the road we were on.) Or point things out that may not be accurate, like the ski poles on top of the car that were really bicycles. Or blurt out “I found the moon.” I think because we had a bit of a ride, there was no rush, I was able to just answer questions and allow her to enjoy the ride. Having the perspective of hoping someone will be able to do that for me helped too. Even if they have heard the stories or the questions seem silly.